I really enjoyed the article by Riki Wilchins about the power of deviant bodies. The concept of gender-queer as an identity is one that I find incredibly tantalizing. The ability to cycle fluidly through the characteristics imparted to each traditional gender on a binary scale sounds like an adventure to me. This identity, although we mentioned in class that it’s problematic for those in the Trans community who want to “pass”, speaks to me because it promotes completely unselfconscious individuality.
I’ve often wondered why it is that we’re so concerned with designating genders to those we meet. We don’t seem to have the same preoccupation when it comes to animals, who although male and female rarely become gendered unless owned as pet, so why is it so important to us to known what another person has between there legs? Since we construct gender through genitalia, the only benefit I can see that might come from designating labels is the ability to pick out reproductive partners. I think some people are uncomfortable with the idea of gender-queerness and the absence of the binary because both have the potential to blur the lines of heterosexual attraction? (After all, if you can’t tell what someone is, how will you be able to know if you’re gay or straight?)
We cling to the concept of gender because humans love labels. We love to see things as black or white in order to make our world easier to categorize and compartmentalize. By establishing a spectrum of genders (one not solely defined by sexual organs) instead of relying on the tired binary, i think that everyone would have more room to truly express themselves and experience the joys of self-discovery without fear of being forced into a specific box for a life-term.